Home > The Raeburn Review
Updated: April 8, 2020
The Raeburn – Scotland-themed boutique rooms with heritage touches in lively Stockbridge.
A short ramble from New Town, Stockbridge has an independent, village-like feel and this small, stylish hotel is very much part of the local scene, thanks to its perpetually busy restaurant, bar, and beer garden. Tweed, tartan, and prints of local wildlife dominate the ten individually styled rooms, complete with iPod docks and espresso machines, while rain showers and free-standing tubs are de rigueur in the bathrooms. Excellent on-site dining and drinking aside, the hotel is an easy stroll from numerous other dining options and the service is helpful and cheerful. Frequent buses run to New Town and beyond in case you don’t fancy an uphill walk all the way to Old Town.
The Raeburn – Location
- Address: 112 Raeburn Pl.
- Area: Bustling high street a 25-minute walk (1 mile) north of Haymarket and a 10-minute walk (0.4 mile) northwest and downhill of New Town with its bars, shops, cafes, and restaurants. The hotel is set back from the street and there are numerous dining options just a couple of minutes away. The Royal Botanic Garden is a 10-minute stroll (0.5 mile), whereas the Royal Mile, Edinburgh Castle, and most other major attractions are within a 20-25 minute walk. Edinburgh is hilly but compact and best explored on foot.
- How to Get There: From Edinburgh Airport, either take the tram to the West End stop (20 minutes) and walk for 23 minutes (1 mile), or take an airport shuttle or Uber/taxi directly to the hotel (8 miles, 20 minutes).
- Handy to: Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh Castle, Scottish National Gallery.
The Raeburn – The Basics
- Ages: While many of the guests tend to be couples or travelers on a city break, families with children are welcome.
- View: Some of the rooms look out over the front patio and the high street, while others overlook a quiet lane, the sports grounds next door, or Inverleith Park to the north of the hotel.
- Private Pools/Jacuzzis: No private pools or jacuzzis.
- Laundry: In-room laundry service.
- Parking: Four free parking spaces nearby; reservations required.
- Extras: Turn-down service on request, several guest lounges and outdoor sitting areas, private dining room on request, 24-hour check-in if flying in late, taxis from airport arranged on request.
- When to Book: Reserve 2-3 months in advance for the summer high season (May to September) as well as the Christmas/New Year period. Several weeks in advance rest of the year.
- How to Book: Booking.com will have the best rates.
- Phone: +44 131 332 7000
- Email: [email protected]
- Website: theraeburn.com
The Raeburn – Amenities
- Pool: No pool.
- Spa: No spa, though guests may get discounts on beauty treatments at a nearby spa.
- Fitness Center: No fitness center.
- For Disabled Guests: One room is fully adapted for guests with disabilities and common areas are all wheelchair-accessible.
- For Families: Baby cots and folding beds available. Children’s meals arranged on request and there are high chairs at the restaurant.
The Raeburn – Food and Drink
- Restaurant: The Raeburn Restaurant (7am-10pm) serves creative, reasonably-priced Modern Scottish fare, from extensive breakfasts, sandwiches, salads, and various small plates for lunch to more extensive dinner mains (pan-seared sea trout, rump of lamb, burgers). Indoor and outdoor dining areas, generous portions, dogs welcome. Open to non-guests and reservations are a good idea for lunch and dinner. $$.
- Lounges/Bars: The Raeburn Bar serves original cocktails (try the Burns Breakfast), classic cocktails, an extensive range of Scotch whiskies, a carefully selected wine list, and a number of local craft beers. Open from noon to midnight. • There’s a second, hidden bar in the ‘library’ lounge offering the same drinks selection.
- Breakfast: Not complimentary (£12.50 per person) unless you book direct. Dishes cooked to order: pancake and waffle stacks, smashed avocado on toast, eggs Benedict, full Scottish breakfast, etc. Served at the restaurant from 7-10.30am.
- Room Service: Available all day until 10pm from the restaurant.
The Raeburn – Rooms
- Room Types: Standard Double • Deluxe Double
- Smoking Rooms: The Raeburn is 100% smoke-free.
- Best Room: The 4 Deluxe rooms come with free-standing soaking tubs as well as rain showers. Rooms 7 and 9 are guest favorites and come with original Georgian windows overlooking the front patio, whereas room 6 is particularly quiet.
- For Families: No family rooms per se but most rooms can accommodate extra beds and cots.
The Raeburn – Local Transport
- Walking: Getting to the Royal Mile and Edinburgh Castle requires a 30-minute walk (1.5 miles), while the Scottish National Portrait Gallery is a 22-minute stroll (1 mile) and the Scottish National Gallery is a 24-minute walk (1 mile) away. The Royal Botanic Garden is an easy 10-minute walk (0.5 mile). Numerous restaurants, cafes, and charity shops are on the same street as the hotel, a couple of minutes’ walk away.
- Bus: From the nearby bus stop (75m, 1-minute walk), buses 24 and 29 run to Edinburgh city center and stop by the Royal Mile. From the city center, you can catch buses to Leith (for the Royal Yacht Britannia) and to Holyrood Park (for Arthur’s Seat).
- Tram: The nearest tram stop is West End, a 23-minute walk (1 mile) away.
- Taxis, Uber: Taxis charge around £20 from the airport to the hotel, while Uber charges around £15.
The Raeburn – What’s Nearby?
Recommended Nearby Tours
- Invisible Edinburgh – Themed walking tours with homeless people trained as guides. Choose between the likes of Powerful Women (JK Rowling, Maggie Dickson, etc.), Crime & Punishment, and more. Book in advance. Start location: Depends on tour.
- Mercat Tours – Good range of history walks. Their ‘Ghosts & Ghouls’ tour takes you to the underground vaults beneath South Bridge. Tours start at the Mercat Cross on the Royal Mile. 8-minute drive (1.5 miles).
- City of the Dead Tours – Spooky nightly tours of Greyfriars Kirkyard, complete with ghostly encounters. The ‘Mackenzie Poltergeist’, a 17th-century ghost of a judge, allegedly haunts the prison in the corner of the graveyard. Depart at 9pm Easter-October; at 8.30pm rest of the year. Start location: “Tree of the Dead” outside St Giles’ Cathedral (1.5 miles, 9-minute drive).
- The Cadies & Witchery Tours – Entertaining ‘Murder & Mystery’ tours of Old Town conducted by the becloaked Adam Lyal. Expect costumed actors to jump out at you from dark corners off the Royal Mile. Start location: The Witchery Restaurant (1.5 miles, 9-minute drive).
- The Edinburgh Literary Pub Tour – Fantastic 2-hour walking tour that takes in pubs associated with Edinburgh’s literary history. Meet at the Beehive Inn on Grassmarket. 9-minute drive (2 miles).
- Trainspotting Tours – Witty, engaging tour of locations from the 1993 Irvine Welsh’s novel Trainspotting and its 1996 movie adaptation. Adults only. Meet at Docker’s Club in Leith. 10-minute drive (2.5 miles).
Best Nearby Restaurants
- The Scran & Scallie – With a Michelin-starred chef’s backing, this unpretentious gastropub excels at fresh takes on traditional dishes such as lamb shoulder with fennel puree and smoked haddock rarebit. The weekday 3-course lunch menu is a steal at £19. Great service and busy at lunchtimes; book ahead. 1-minute walk (25m).
- Street Box – Cheap and cheerful Thai eatery offering a selection of curries, stir-fries, soups, and plenty of vegetarian dishes. Takeout available. 2-minute walk (0.1 mile).
- Taisteal – Specializing in Scottish produce that is given the global treatment (hence the restaurant’s name, meaning “travel” in Gaelic), this friendly place serves the likes of wild-garlic and rabbit cannelloni, lamb with baba ghanoush, and pheasant with blackberries. Cozy and informal. Book ahead. 3-minute walk (0.2 mile).
- RadiCibus – Contemporary Italian eatery with a handful of beautifully executed dishes such as octopus with leeks and potatoes and pigeon with pistachio, coffee, and fennel. Stylish, romantic, and wallet-friendly. 5-minute walk (0.3 mile).
- Bells Diner – Retro diner, around since the 1970s, with a crowd-pleasing menu of burgers, steaks, milkshakes, and ice cream sundaes. Popular with families. 7-minute walk (0.3 mile).
- Purslane Restaurant – Feast on Scottish game and seafood by candlelight at this relaxed yet intimate fine dining venue. Advance reservations. 8-minute walk (0.4 mile).
- Kenji Sushi – Cozy Japanese restaurant with traditional seating on tatami mats. The menu runs the gamut from sushi rolls and sashimi to bowls of udon noodles, tempura, donburi rice bowls topped with katsu and more. 8-minute walk (0.4 mile).
- Forage & Chatter – Seasonal ingredients and hand-picked herbs are turned into beautiful, subtly flavored dishes in this understated basement restaurant. Enjoy it alongside Scottish craft beer biodynamic wines in rough-hewn stone, reclaimed wood, and tartan surrounds. Reserve ahead. 20-minute walk (1 mile).
Best Nearby Cafes
- Artisan Roast – The Stockbridge branch of one of Edinburgh’s best independent coffee roasteries, with beans sourced from locations as diverse as Burundi, El Salvador, and Ethiopia. Cakes, cheese toasties, and other light bites complement the brew. 1-minute walk (75m).
- Cowan & Sons – Local favorite for a full Scottish breakfast with all the trimmings or lighter brunch fare such as French toast topped with fresh berries. Hearty soup lunches, too. 3-minute walk (0.1 mile).
Best Nearby Bars and Pubs
- Rollo Restaurant & Wine Bar – Intimate wine bar with a hand-picked selection of over 2 dozen wines from across Europe, South America, and New Zealand by the glass, as well as an eclectic selection of tapas. 1-minute walk (50m).
- The Stockbridge Tap – Unpretentious local pub with an excellent selection of real ales and whiskies, plus good pub grub. 4-minute walk (0.2 mile).
- Good Brothers Wine Bar – A short and eclectic menu of interesting wines by the glass from small and independent producers, craft beers and cocktails, plus small plates for sharing (braised ox cheek, Galiciain anchovies) make this a bit of a hipster hangout. 4-minute walk (0.2 mile).
- Hectors – A favorite with local families (for the Sunday roast) and Edinburgh’s young and beautiful (for the weekend DJ sets), this congenial pub also stocks a good range of cask ales and craft beers. 4-minute walk (0.2 mile).
- Oxford Bar – If you’re a fan of Inspector Rebus from the Ian Rankin novels, you’ll have no trouble recognizing ‘the Ox’. For everyone else: this is an unpretentious watering hole popular with locals and serving good ales (sometimes to the accompaniment of folk music). 17-minute walk (0.7 mile).
- Tigerlily – Some of the best, most original cocktails in the city are served at this buzzy bar. The sparkling mirror-glass mosaic, velvet, and steel is a regular gathering place for Edinburgh’s glitterati. 19-minute walk (0.8 mile).
Nearby Shopping and Cool Shops
Between the hotel and the bridge of the Water of Leith, Stockbridge’s main street Raeburn Place is lined with numerous thrift stores. For upmarket boutiques and specialty stores, head to New Town, while Old Town is best for traditional tartan, whisky, and woolen goods.
- Galerie Mirages – Handmade throws, lanterns, rugs, weavings, carvings, and other ethnic items are all found inside this treasure trove of a shop. The silver and amber jewelry in traditional and contemporary designs really stands out. 2-minute walk (0.1 mile).
- Golden Hare Books – “Best Independent Bookshop of the Year” in 2019, this delightful bookstore specializes in ‘beautiful, unusual, and interesting books’, has a terrific children’s corner, and hosts literary events. 8-minute walk (0.4 mile).
- Quarters – The store attached to Edinburgh’s hippest barbershop sells carefully chosen items to ‘meet the requirements of modern man’. These include Marshall Major headphones, Harris Tweed iPad cases, Belroy wallets, quality grooming products, and even men’s streetwear. 16-minute walk (0.7 mile).
- ANTA Scotland Ltd – Design store that has breathed new life into tweed and tartan, turning them into everything from carpets to attractive furnishings, fashion items, and accessories. 18-minute walk (0.8 mile).
- 21st Century Kilts – Bespoke and off-the-peg kilts in every imaginable style and fabric, from Harris tweed and denim to leather. You can opt for a ‘hipster fit’ or detachable pockets, too. Celebrity clientele have included Vin Diesel and Robbie Williams in the past. 19-minute walk (0.8 mile).
- Aspinal of London Edinburgh – Beautiful, hand-tooled leather satchels, briefcases, and other travel accessories. 20-minute walk (1 mile).
- Water of Leith Walkway – This picturesque 4-mile riverside walk starts next to the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art and follows the river all the way to the port of Leith. You can also join the river path near Dean Bridge in Dean Village. 8-minute walk (0.4 mile).
- Royal Botanic Garden – In its present location since 1823 but founded in 1670, these are the second-oldest gardens in Britain of their kind (the oldest are in Oxford), and feature beautifully landscaped grounds. Don’t miss the world-famous rock garden, the Victorian glasshouses with their riot of azaleas and rhododendrons, or the exhibitions on climate change and biodiversity inside the visitor center. 10-minute walk (0.5 mile).
- Princes Street Gardens – Occupying the valley between Princes St and the crag on which Edinburgh Castle stands, these vast gardens are a favorite spot for morning runs and weekend picnics. The Ross Bandstand hosts open-air concerts in the summer; look out also for the Floral Clock. 21-minute walk (1 mile).
- Scottish National Portrait Gallery – Famous Scots appear inside this Venetian Gothic palace in painting, sculpture, and photograph form. They range from Mary, Queen of Scots, and Bonnie Prince Charlie to Sean Connery, Billy Connolly, and more. 22-minute walk (1 mile).
- Scottish National Gallery – This Victorian 1850s building houses an excellent collection of Scottish art in the basement, with landscapes by William MacTaggart and Sir David Wilkie and portraits by the likes of Sir Henry Raeburn and Allan Ramsay. The ground floor is devoted to European art, from the Renaissance to post-Impressionism. 24-minute walk (1 mile).
- Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art – Edinburgh’s impressive collection of contemporary art is split between two stately neoclassical buildings near Dean Village. Modern One focuses on major 20th-century art movements in Europe, with works by Picasso, Matisse, Mondrian, and Giacometti. There are also works by post-Impressionist Scottish Colorists such as Leslie Hunter, a sculpture garden, and an excellent café. 24-minute walk (1 mile).
- Scott Monument – This dark Gothic spire, built to honor the memory of Sir Walter Scott who died in 1832, dominates Princes St. There is usually a Scotsman in traditional Highland dress playing bagpipes outside. Climb the 287 steps to the top for a great view of the city. 26-minute walk (1 mile).
- Writers’ Museum – Take the close (alleyway) that connects the Royal Mile with the Mound to visit this literary museum inside the 1622 Lady Stair’s House. Here you can immerse yourself in manuscripts and memorabilia of Robert Louis Stevenson, Sir Walter Scott, and Robert Burns, three of Scotland’s most famous writers. 29-minute walk (1.5 miles).
- The Scotch Whisky Experience – Walk your way through this entertaining multimedia center that showcases the creation of whisky, from barley to distillation to bottle. All your senses are engaged here and you can also check out the world’s largest collection of malt whiskies. Depending on the tour option, you may get to sample a number of whiskies paired with Scottish nibbles. 30-minute walk (1.5 miles).
- Edinburgh Castle – Perched on the crag of Castle Rock, this historic fortress and former royal residence dominates the Edinburgh skyline. It’s the city’s atmospheric, heavyweight attraction, where you can see the Honours of Scotland (Scottish Crown Jewels), the bed-chamber where Mary, Queen of Scots, gave birth to her son who’d unite the English and Scottish crowns, the National War Museum of Scotland, the prisons inside the Castle Vaults, and the One o’Clock Gun, a WWII Goliath that’s fired at 1pm daily. The views of the city from the battlements are tremendous. 30-minute walk (1.5 miles).
- National Museum of Scotland – Spread across 2 buildings – a contemporary and a Victorian one – this terrific museum is a stampede through the history of Scotland, presented using an engaging variety of media highlighting the period from the earliest prehistoric signs of humanity until the 1990s. There are occasional themed exhibitions too, while the older building is home to displays on the decorative arts of China, the Islamic world, Japan, and the West, as well as design and fashion, science and technology, and natural history. The onsite restaurant – Tower – is one of the city’s best. 9-minute drive (1.5 miles).
- Royal Yacht Britannia – An easy bus ride from Hamilton Place on bus #36. This luxury yacht used to be Her Majesty’s floating holiday home between 1953 and 1997. Permanently moored at the Ocean Centre mall, it’s now a museum. Visitors can use the excellent audio guides to acquaint themselves with the living quarters for the Queen and 45 other members of the Royal Family. 12-minute drive (3 miles).
Nearby Markets or Grocery Stores
- Stockbridge Market – Held in the Jubilee Gardens every Sunday from 10am to 5pm, this popular market is a great place to stock up on artisan bread, cheese, smoked salmon, and locally handmade soap and jewelry. Food stalls serve crêpes, drinks, burgers, and more. 6-minute walk (0.3 mile).
- Waitrose – Stockbridge branch of the high-end supermarket on the corner of Fettes Ave and Comely Bank Rd. 6-minute walk (0.3 mile).
- IJ Mellis Cheesemonger – The Stockbridge branch of this pungent, traditional cheesemonger stocks a huge variety of cheeses from all over the world, as well as the more local Stinking Bishop and Old Lochnagar. 7-minute walk (0.3 mile).
The Raeburn – The Hotel
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